How to Install Suspended Kitchen Cabinets

Written by robert sylvus
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How to Install Suspended Kitchen Cabinets
Suspended kitchen cabinets do not rely on support from the floor. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Suspended kitchen cabinets hang on a wall without the benefit of support from the floor. The suspended cabinet's mounting screws must hold the weight of the cabinets plus the items stored inside, usually heavy dishes and drinking glasses. Manufacturers make cabinets from many different materials and create doors with styles that range from a plain board without a boarder to doors with complicated designs. All suspended kitchen cabinets, no mater what material the manufacturer uses, use the same installation method.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • 4-foot bubble level
  • Stud finder
  • 2-by-4 wood board
  • Wood saw
  • 2 1/2-inch wood screws
  • Electric drill
  • Shims
  • C-Clamps
  • 1/8-inch drill bit

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  1. 1

    Measure from the floor up the kitchen wall with a tape measure and place a pencil mark on the wall at the suspended cabinet's height. Place a mark on both ends of the cabinets. Normally the bottom of a suspended cabinet measures between 52 and 54 inches off the floor.

  2. 2

    Draw a level line between the two pencil marks on the wall with the pencil, using a 4-foot bubble level as a straightedge. Hold the top of one end of the bubble level on one pencil mark and adjust the other end of the bubble level as needed. Draw the line across the top of the bubble level, then move the bubble level to the end of the pencil line. Continue the line until it meets the second pencil mark.

  3. 3

    Mark the location of each wall stud on the drywall with the pencil, using a stud finder as a placement guide. Stud finders identify the stud's location without making holes in the drywall.

  4. 4

    Cut a 2-by-4 wood board 6-inches longer than the height of the bottom of the suspended cabinet with a wood saw. Cut a second 2-by-4 wood board 12 inches long. Secure the centre of the shorter board to one end of the longer board with 2 1/2-inch wood screws, forming a T-shaped brace. Drive the screws into the wood boards with an electric drill.

  5. 5

    Lift the suspended cabinet closest to the kitchen's corner until its bottom rests even with the level line. Support the cabinet's outer edge with the T-shaped brace.

  6. 6

    Tack the suspended cabinet to a wall stud with a 2 1/2-inch wood screw, using the stud finder's pencil mark as a placement guide. Run the tack screw through the top of the cabinet's back wall and into the wall stud. Adjust the cabinet for plumb with the bubble level and run a second screw through the bottom of the cabinet's back wall into a stud.

  7. 7

    Tack all of the suspended cabinets to the kitchen's wall studs using the same method as on the first cabinet.

  8. 8

    Inspect the suspended cabinets' alignment with each other. If a suspended cabinet does not line-up with its neighbours, loosen the cabinet's tack screws and slip shims between the back of the cabinet and the wall as needed. Tighten the wood screws and check the cabinets for alignment. Repeat this until all of the cabinets line-up perfectly.

  9. 9

    Lock two cabinets together with two C-clamps. Position one C-clamp at the bottom of the cabinets and place the other C-clamp at the top of the cabinets. Tighten each C-clamp until the seam between the two cabinets closes.

  10. 10

    Drill two pilot holes into the side of the cabinets next to the C-clamp.

  11. 11

    Lock the two cabinets together with the 2 1/2-inch wood screws. Run the screws through the pilot holes. Remove the C-clamps. Lock all of the cabinets together using the same method.

  12. 12

    Install the doors using the manufacturer's instructions. The hinge style determines the door mounting method.

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